Hormones are a part of everybody. They are excreted by the endocrine system as chemical messengers that tell a variety of parts of the body what to do. There are numerous hormones, and many of them are familiar to almost everyone.
For example, you have probably heard of estrogen and testosterone, which are two of the most well-known sex hormones. However, hormones do much more than control sexual development and aid in human reproduction.
Other hormones can do everything from controlling body temperature and appetite to strengthening the immune system and impacting emotions. One very special and necessary hormone is human growth hormone, a chemical that is important even after you are fully grown.
What Is HGH Therapy?
While it is obvious why you need proper growth hormone function when you are a child, it may not be quite so obvious why you still need plenty of HGH as an adult. Human growth hormone is certainly involved in the basic growth processes of children, helping them grow taller.
However, because HGH is so important in building bones and muscles, it is equally important to the health of adults as well.
HGH therapy is a type of hormone replacement therapy that artificially adds this hormone back into the body. It is used if your pituitary gland is not producing enough HGH because of genetic concerns or because of damage to the gland, such as from a tumor, radiation or even an infection.
Of course, doctors use it for children who are not producing enough of the hormone to prevent dwarfism and other problems with very short stature. Additionally, it is frequently used by adults as well.
If you have never used HGH therapy before, you will want to know as much as possible about the types of HGH therapy and what to expect from each of them. The therapy form most frequently given by doctors is injectable HGH.
Injectable options come in many different forms and name brands. For example, your doctor may use an injectable liquid or work with a powder that can be reconstituted with a liquid for injection.
Pre-filled HGH pens are also an option for easier injections. Knowing which option is best will require an honest discussion with your doctor.
In addition, you and your doctor will need to talk about the types of HGH currently on the market. The following are a few of the most popular options.
- Genotropin, which is the original brand used in the U.S. since 1996
- Humatrope, which has been FDA-approved since 1998
- Serostim, which is one of the newest types of HGH
- Zorbtive, which is a pure type of HGH that is incredibly similar to your actual human growth hormone
While supposed HGH supplements and even homeopathic HGH therapies are now sold over the counter, these therapies are not supported by qualified physicians, rarely produce good effects and may even cause dangerous side effects.
You should only use HGH therapy from a qualified physician after receiving complete testing and a solid diagnosis of deficiency.
Of course, before you get started, you will also want to know what to expect from HGH therapy, and you are sure to have many questions about the frequency of treatment, possible benefits and side effects of HGH and HGH therapy cost.
Whether you are wondering about HGH and aging or HGH for muscle strength or weight loss, you should always work with a physician familiar with this type of therapy for the best, most healthful results.
HGH Therapy for Men and Women
Human growth hormone naturally decreases in your body as you ages. However, damage to the pituitary gland can cause an abnormal decrease in this important hormone, making HGH therapy for adults necessary. Proper therapy can provide many benefits, most notably including improved bone density and muscle strength. It may also be able to treat some of the following issues if they stem from low HGH.
- Belly Fat
- Heart disease
- Decreased concentration
In addition, many adults are using growth hormone therapy for anti-aging these days. Increasing numbers of people are choosing HGH treatment for general vitality and all-over tissue health. Sadly, there has not been much research into how this treatment could increase human longevity.
One review of several studies performed since 1989 looked at over 200 adults who used growth hormones compared to a similarly sized group that did not use the hormone. Although the study could not prove that HGH improved cholesterol levels or decreased the risk of cancer, it did show that subjects using HGH increased their lean body mass while losing several pounds of body fat simultaneously.
HGH therapy for seniors has proven increasingly popular as well. A 1999 study showed that a multi-week treatment with HGH for elderly women improved bone mineral density in the spine, increased handgrip and reduced seniors’ waist to hip ratios.
Is HGH Therapy Safe?
You will probably find yourself asking your doctor numerous questions before beginning HGH therapy. You might ask, “How does HGH therapy work?” or “Are HGH injections safe?” While side effects are certainly a possibility with this therapy, most people undergo treatments with very few problems.
The most common side effects are muscle aches, joint aches and headaches. In addition, diabetics should closely monitor their blood glucose levels during therapy, and those with breathing problems should not use HGH.
Many remain confused about whether they can use HGH therapy for aging and ask themselves, “Is HGH legal?” Indeed, the legality of HGH therapy is a fuzzy matter. In general, the law approves HGH when used for certain medical needs, and many physicians provide HGH therapy to help their patients return to their previous, more youthful bodily vigor.
However, HGH is not approved or legal for doping or for improving athletic performance. It is also not legal to use it on your own but should always be used under the guidance of your prescribing physician.
How to Diagnose HGH Deficiency
Adult growth hormone deficiency must usually be diagnosed by an endocrinologist. Rather than simply checking blood levels of HGH, which will almost always be low, your endocrinologist will check how the pituitary gland responds when stimulated.
This test usually takes several hours to complete. In addition, the doctor may schedule an MRI to see how your pituitary gland is functioning if he or she suspects that it has been injured. Other diagnostic tests could include a DXA scan to measure bone density as well as hand and head x-rays.
Of course, general growth hormone blood tests, such as IGF-1 and IGFBP-3, will be included in diagnostics but will not be definitive predictors of your need for therapy.
Symptoms of HGH deficiency often indicate the need for therapy and could include the following:
- Increased body fat especially around your belly
- Chronic tiredness
- Anxiety or depression
- Decreased lean muscle mass
- Decreased physical stamina
- Decreased bone mass
- Increased LDL’s and triglycerides in blood cholesterol tests
How and Where to Get HGH Therapy
Approved HGH therapy is available from a doctor, such as an endocrinologist, who will be able to prescribe exactly the right treatment for you and will be able to monitor you throughout your treatment. This is the only way to get legal HGH.
Your doctor will most likely provide you with at-home HGH injections that you are to use every day. You will give yourself the injections using an HGH pen or an HGH replacement therapy kit that has everything you need.
You should return to see your doctor every one to two months for symptoms checks and to get more prescribed HGH if necessary.
During HGH therapy, your doctor will also monitor other symptoms and diagnostic numbers, such as your cholesterol levels, any fluid retention or swelling you have and your bone density. These numbers and any new symptoms will help show your doctor if you are receiving the right amount of therapy or are getting too much HGH.
How Much Does HGH Therapy Cost?
The price of HGH therapy varies significantly based on the brand and type of HGH used, the dosage needed and even the country of origin of the hormone. HGH is highly regulated throughout the United States, and legal therapy can cost several thousand dollars every month. You should remember that you are paying for the drug as well as for the research and testing that backs up the efficacy of the therapy.
Because HGH therapy costs can be so high, the risk of counterfeited drugs filled with unsafe ingredients is also high. This is just one of the many reasons why you should work with a board-certified physician familiar with this therapy to receive legal prescribed HGH.
Taking HGH is a legitimate choice for some adult men and women who have deficiencies of this important hormone. When used safely with the backing of a qualified physician, you may be able to experience more lean muscle mass and increased bone density with prescription HGH, helping you to look and feel your best.